Few people are qualified to speak about what it’s like to score eight points in an NHL game.
One such person is Hockey Hall of Famer Darryl Sittler, who put up not just eight, but 10 points against Boston in 1976. As such, it was no surprise when the Associated Press tracked down Sittler to get his thoughts on Edmonton’s Sam Gagner, who registered four goals and four assists in a 8-4 win over Chicago on Thursday.
“[Gagner’s] been struggling a little bit this season — I don’t know if he’s had injuries or what it is — but he certainly put up the points last night,” Sittler said, trying to explain how it feels to put up such huge numbers. “Everything falls into place. Every shot you take pretty well goes in or you make a pass and the guy completes it.
“It’s magical those types of nights. They don’t happen very often.”
Gagner is now just the 11th player in NHL history to accomplish this task and the first in 23 years. (He also joins Mario Lemieux as the only player in NHL history whose eight points figured into all of his team’s goals.) In terms of Oilers records, he joins Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey as the only players to score eight points in a game — and as expected, the 22-year-old was a tad overwhelmed at being in the same conversation of hockey royalty.
“I didn’t think I would ever be mentioned in the same breath as Gretzky or Coffey,” said the 22-year-old Gagner. “You never expect to do something like this.”
“It’s a great lesson to never set limits,” he added. “The great players who played here never did that. It was just one of those games where everything went in and just a great feeling.”
As for Sittler, he’s proud his record is still standing almost 40 years later — though Gagner’s outburst was a bit of a reminder that it could fall at any time.
“If the stars are aligned right and everything is working, it might happen someday,” Sittler said. “I’m glad to have done it in a Leafs uniform and I’m proud to have held the record for as long as I have so far.
“If it happens to somebody, I’d be happy for them. But, hey, am I glad to hold the record and would like to continue holding it? Sure, definitely.”